President Donald Trump's comments in a recent interview have become the latest bone of contention among US Democrats. Trump claimed that the CIA was hacked and material was stolen from the spy agency, propelling many to raise concerns over how his comments may just have revealed classified information.
"By the way, with the CIA, I just want people to know, the CIA was hacked, and a lot of things taken," Trump said in an interview that aired Wednesday night on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight.
"That was during the Obama years," he continued, the NY Post reported. "That was not during us. That was during the Obama situation. [CIA Director] Mike Pompeo is there now doing a fantastic job."
The House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat Rep Adam Schiff raised concerns over Trump's comments, which were allegedly related to WikiLeaks' recent Vault 7 publications, detailing CIA hacking tools and techniques. Schiff also brought up issues over Trump's previous criticism of the US intelligence community (IC), adding that Trump's comments could likely potentially be classified as leaks themselves.
"It's one thing if the President has a detailed and thoughtful conversation with the intelligence community about what to declassify, what to release to the public," Schiff told CNN. "But if, on the other hand, this was simply the President looking for an opportunity to attack his predecessor, and giving little thought to the consequences of what he might be disclosing, that is a big problem."
"This is not something that should be done off-the-cuff by the President of the United States just looking for a cheap shot at his predecessor," he said. "It concerns me greatly that this President, after criticizing so many others about leaking potentially classified information should be discussing things that may very well be classified in such a cavalier fashion."
The CIA is yet to comment on the validity of WikiLeaks' disclosures. US authorities investigating the matter suspect that CIA contractors, disgruntled over recent job losses, may have handed over classified information to the whistle-blowing site.
Recently, vice president Mike Pence claimed that the US government would "use the full force of the law and resources of the United States to hold all of those to account that were involved," in leaking the alleged CIA data.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has indicated that it is set to release further information relating to the CIA, adding that the leaked data consists of "less than 1%" of its total disclosures relating to Vault 7.